Session 4 - The EU: A Balanced Viewpoint?

Session Summary

In this session, pupils examine the pros and cons of Northern Ireland’s membership in the EU. They take part in a mock election campaign, producing promotional literature and participating in a Proportional Representation (Single Transferable Vote) election.

Pupils have opportunities to learn about:

  • the pros and cons of the EU;
  • the pros and cons of Northern Ireland’s membership of the EU; and
  • the proportional representation voting system used by the EU.

Teachers should agree success criteria with their pupils.

Opportunities for Skills Development

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

In this session, the emphasis is on the skill of Working with Others. Pupils have opportunities to:

  • use influencing and negotiating skills to explore differences of opinion during a mock EU election process;
  • undertake different roles and responsibilities in a mock EU election campaign;
  • agree and identify collective goals for each of the parties in the election; and
  • use explanation and reasoning to persuade party members and then the electorate to reach an agreed outcome.

Cross-Curricular Skills

If you wish, you can develop the following Cross-Curricular Skills in this session:

  • Communication (Talking & Listening, Reading and Writing) – Pupils plan, promote, carry out complete an election campaign.

Session Start-Up

Remind your pupils of the conclusions of Session 3 and explain that this lesson is going to focus on the pros and cons of Northern Ireland’s membership in the EU.

Session Debrief

When Session 4’s activities are complete, pose the following questions to your pupils to prompt a class discussion:

  • What are the real benefits to Northern Ireland of EU Membership?
  • Should Northern Ireland remain in the EU?
  • How have your attitudes to the EU or knowledge of the EU changed as a consequence of completing these activities?
  • How have your perceptions of European stereotypes changed?
  • In what way do you feel more or less European now that you’ve completed these activities and resources?